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Citizenship Lawyer

A United States Citizenship Lawyer can help you realize the American Dream.

Need a citizenship lawyer to help navigate the complex United States immigration process?  We can help!

Citizenship is something that we all take for granted.  It’s a right we don’t think about until it’s too late and someone asks, “Where are you from?”  Getting citizenship in the United States can be difficult and time-consuming.  But most people want to become citizens of this country because they know it offers more opportunities than any other nation on Earth.

A citizenship lawyer can help you by securing both temporary visas and permanent residency status through naturalization or family sponsorship.  And when you’re ready to file papers for citizenship, they are at your side every step of the way.

How to apply for citizenship in the United States of America

Girl in flower fields with American flag blowing in the windIn order to become a U.S. citizen, you must fill out an application and submit it to the U.S. government.  In addition, you must include the required filing fee.  Most importantly, you must submit evidence that you meet all of the criteria for citizenship.  This process of applying for and obtaining your citizenship is called “naturalization.”

When your application is ready for review, you will be scheduled for an in-person interview with an officer from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”).  During the interview, the officer will review your immigration history, criminal history, and travel history.  Further, they will administer the civics and English language tests.  A citizenship lawyer can help guide you through this entire process.

Once the officer approves your application, you still have one more important step to go before you can call yourself a U.S. citizen.  You must attend your Oath Ceremony and take the Oath of Allegiance.  Your Ceremony may take place on the same day as your interview or it may be scheduled for a later date.  Either way, you may not take advantage of any of the specific rights allotted to U.S. citizens until your Ceremony is complete.  Doing so can have very serious consequences for your application.

Requirements to apply for citizenship

Not just anyone can apply for citizenship in the United States.  In order to become a U.S. citizen, an immigrant MUST:

  • Be over the age of 18;
  • Have been a Lawful Permanent Resident (aka, a green card holder) for a minimum of five years;
    • If you are married to a U.S. citizen, you only have to have been a Lawful Permanent Resident for three years before you can apply;
  • Have lived in the United States for the last five years before submitting your application and been physically present in the United States for at least half that time;
  • Demonstrate good moral character (meaning no arrests or convictions) in the five years before submitting your application;
  • Not have ANY convictions for certain felony offenses at any time after 1990; and
  • Be able to read, write, and speak basic English.

To be successful, it is crucial that you consult with an experienced United States citizenship lawyer.  Your lawyer will be able to explain whether you meet each of these requirements.  They will also be able to guide you throughout the process.  Importantly, this will give you the best chance of successfully obtaining United States citizenship.

Can a Citizenship Lawyer tell me the application questions for citizenship?

In asking this question, you are likely wondering about the civics test that is part of the citizenship process.  The civics test portion of your citizenship interview will test your knowledge of U.S. History and Government.  The officer will ask you up to 20 questions and you must answer at least 12 of those correctly in order to pass.

While you can purchase study guides to help you prepare, USCIS offers a wide range of materials free of charge directly on their website.

Some of these questions include:

  • How are changes made to the U.S. Constitution?
  • Why is the Declaration of Independence important?
  • How many senators does each state have?

This is just a small sample of the types of questions you will need to study for the civics test portion of your naturalization and citizenship process.  For additional guidance, consult with an experienced citizenship lawyer at Kitay Law offices today!

What is the English language test like?

The English language test portion of your citizenship application consists of three parts:

  1. Reading;
  2. Writing; and
  3. Speaking.

To complete the reading portion, you must correctly read out loud one of three sentences provided by the immigration officer.  Similarly, to complete the writing portion, you must correctly write out one of three sentences read to you by the immigration officer.

Your ability to speak and understand English will be determined by the immigration officer during the course of your interview.  Their determination will be made based on your ability to understand and respond not only to the civics and language questions, but also on your ability to conduct the entire interview in English.  For more details, consult with a citizenship lawyer in the USA before you apply for citizenship.

I’m concerned about the English language test.  Can a Citizenship Lawyer tell me about any exceptions?

Yes, there are exemptions from the English language requirement, but they only apply to a small group of people.

The language exemptions are based on your age and the length of time that you have had your green card.  An exception may apply if you are:

  1. 50 or older and have had your green card for 20 years or more; or
  2. 55 or older and have had your green card for 15 years or more.

In these situations, you may conduct your citizenship interview and civics test in your best language.  To learn whether either of these exceptions apply to you, speak with an experienced citizenship lawyer.

Importantly, you must still pass the civics test even if you meet one of these exceptions for the English language test.  The only difference is that you will be able to do so in your best language, rather than in English.

Can a United States Citizenship Lawyer help if I have already failed the civics or English language tests?

Yes, a citizenship lawyer can help if you have already failed one or both of the civics and English language tests.  Importantly, a citizenship lawyer can confirm when and where you can take the test for a second time.  However, your lawyer will have to start the process all over again for you if you fail after a re-test.

Can I still apply for citizenship if I have a disability that prevents me from completing the civics and language requirements?

Yes, you may apply for an exemption from the civics and language requirements if you cannot complete them due to:

  • Physical disability;
  • Developmental disability; or
  • Mental impairment.

However, you will still need to meet all the other requirements listed above.  In order for you to qualify, your doctor will need to fill out a specific form and explain how and why your condition impacts your ability to take these tests.  As you can see, whether you qualify for an exemption is a complicated determination.  Therefore, make sure you speak with a citizenship lawyer.

Can I lose my citizenship?

Yes, your United States citizenship can be taken away.  However, this only occurs under very specific circumstances.  Plus, this may only happen after a trial during which the U.S. government proves to a federal Judge, beyond any doubt, that this extreme measure is warranted.  Circumstances which could cause you to lose your U.S. citizenship include:

  • Immigration fraud;
  • Affiliation with a terrorist organization; or
  • In cases where citizenship is obtained through military service – dishonorable discharge.

Why should I apply for citizenship if I have already had my green card for a long time?

While a green card will allow you to live and work in the United States permanently, there are several advantages to obtaining U.S. citizenship.

First, one major advantage is protection from deportation.  Green card holders can lose their status for a number of reasons.  For example, this may include certain criminal convictions or too much time spent outside of the United States.  Once you obtain your U.S. citizenship, however, it can only be revoked in very limited situations.

Further, another major advantage of U.S. citizenship is the ability to vote in local, state, and federal elections.  Immigrants who obtain green cards generally do so because they plan on living in the United States permanently.  However, unless they obtain citizenship, they could live here their whole lives without being able to participate in our political process and have a say in the laws they live by.

Finally, unlike a green card, your citizenship will never need to be renewed.  As a result, you will never need to worry about the process of obtaining benefits that require an unexpired card, such as switching jobs or renewing your driver’s license.

A Citizenship Lawyer at Kitay Law Offices is ready to help, both in English and Spanish!

An experienced citizenship lawyer at Kitay Law Offices is ready to help you immediately!  In addition, we can help you in both English and Spanish so that you are most comfortable with the process.  ¡Se habla español!  

You can reach us online or by calling 888-KITAYLAW.

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